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Liquidity Shortages and Banking Crises

  • Douglas W. Diamond
  • Raghuram G. Rajan

We show in this paper that bank failures can be contagious. Unlike earlier work where contagion stems from depositor panics or ex ante contractual links between banks, we argue bank failures can shrink the common pool of liquidity, creating or exacerbating aggregate liquidity shortages. This could lead to a contagion of failures and a possible total meltdown of the system. Given the costs of a meltdown, there is a possible role for government intervention. Unfortunately, liquidity problems and solvency problems interact and can cause each other, making it hard to determine the root cause of a crisis from observable factors. We propose a robust sequence of intervention.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10071.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2005. "Liquidity Shortages and Banking Crises," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 615-647, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10071
Note: CF IFM
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  1. Goodfriend, M. & King, R.G., 1988. "Financial Deregulation, Monetary Policy, And Central Banking," RCER Working Papers 121, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-37, August.
  3. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, . "Banks, Short Term Debt and Financial Crises: Theory, Policy Implications and Applications."," CRSP working papers 518, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, . "A Theory of Bank Capital," CRSP working papers 363, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  5. Diamond, Douglas-W, 2001. "Should Japanese Banks Be Recapitalized?," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(2), pages 1-19, May.
  6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  7. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
  8. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "Liquidity risk, liquidity creation and financial fragility: a theory of banking," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  9. Diamond, Douglas W, 1997. "Liquidity, Banks, and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 928-56, October.
  10. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," Working papers 592, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2003. "Money in a Theory of Banking," NBER Working Papers 10070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  13. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 1998. "Emerging Market Crises: An Asset Markets Perspective," Working papers 98-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Qi, Jianping, 1998. "Deposit Liquidity and Bank Monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 198-218, April.
  15. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1976. "Optimal Financial Crises," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-01, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2000. "International Liquidity Management: Sterilization Policy in Illiquid Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 7740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, 1991. "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 109-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Moore, John Hardman, 2009. "Money and Liquidity," SIRE Focus Papers 2009-01, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  20. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Bank Bailouts and Aggregate Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 38-41, May.
  22. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
  23. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "The Paradox Of Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 733-771, August.
  24. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  25. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  26. Donaldson, R. Glen, 1992. "Costly liquidation, interbank trade, bank runs and panics," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 59-82, March.
  27. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  28. Hellwig, Martin, 1994. "Liquidity provision, banking, and the allocation of interest rate risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1363-1389, August.
  29. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  30. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Financial Contagion Journal of Political Economy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  31. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Banks and Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 422-425, May.
  32. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "Banks as Liquidity Providers: An Explanation for the Co-Existence of Lending and Deposit-Taking," NBER Working Papers 6962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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